Now that I have been the ward choir pianist for over a year I feel that I can accurately and successfully offer tips on how to maximize your experience while magnifying your calling.
1. When you move into a new ward and fill out the new member questionnaire, conveniently forget that the "Interests and Talents" section means things you are both interested in and talented at. I can't play worth beans, but, yes, I am interested in the piano. Check that box.
2. When they extend the calling of ward choir pianist, make them aware that you play like a two year old with fingers the size of bratwurst, but that you are willing to accept any calling. Are you sure? I'll do my best, but I really suck. (I actually said precisely that when they called me.)
3. After they give you the calling, despite your lack of playing prowess, practice like mad. Then, when the song is still too hard for you, enlist the help of one of the choir members who can sight read the music better than you can play it after 2 months practice. Sing the song instead so that you are still being supprtive of the choir. And you're better at singing, anyway. I know it's only two days before we perform, but can you play the song? I suck.
4. Continue with rule 4 until you finally get a piece you can learn. Then practice that one until you hear the music in your sleep.
5. When it is time to play the song you learned, hit the first few chords wrong. You know, the ones that happen before the singing begins and are so bad there is no hiding them. Then start over again. At least when you mess up that badly at the beginning you know you can't do any worse.
Those are the rules I live by. Thankfully, all of my possible embarrassment for those situations doesn't really touch me. Once it's done I can't change it, so there's no point in getting upset. That's how it happened yesterday, anyway.